Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: Note To Self

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself. Joe Thorn. Foreword by Sam Storms. 2011. Crossway Books. 144 pages.

I first read Note to Self in 2011. I loved it; I absolutely loved it. Especially the foreword and the introduction. Both were so powerful, so relevant, so rich in truth. The foreword was written by Sam Storms. (I learned today on Joe Thorn's site that Sam Storms has a new blog where he'll be blogging daily!) I learned so much just by reading these early parts of the book.  But the whole book is great--beneficial--which is why I wanted to reread it.

If I had to pick just one quote from the foreword:
Crave the word of God. Be desperate for it! Seek it. Yearn for it. Long for it. Desire it. Tolerate nothing in your life that might diminish your hunger for God's Word. And apply it with vigor and spiritual energy! The Word of God, whether it is preached and heard or read and memorized is more than simply true. It is effectual. The Word of God does more than merely announce: it accomplishes! It doesn't just impart information: it creates life! (19)
The book is divided into three sections: The Gospel and God, The Gospel and Others, The Gospel and You. Topics include, "God Does Not Answer To You," "Give Thanks," "Remember Your Sins," "Jesus is Big," "Jesus is Enough," "Be Humble In Your Theology," "Seek God," "Stop Judging," "Stop Pretending," "Forgive," "Sow Grace," "Listen to Others," "Hate Well," "Die to Sin," "Theology is for Worship," "Repent," "Suffer Well," "Take Risks." To name a few. There are forty-eight notes in all. Each note begins with the words DEAR SELF.

The note I'd like to share today is "Seek God" (Psalm 119:9-10)
Dear Self,
You tend to forget that seeking God is not only a quest for the lost, but is also to characterize the life of the found. The whole of your life should be seen as a seeking for God. This is not, of course, seeking for that which you do not know or have. God has found you, bought you, and owns you. You have been adopted, and nothing can separate you from the love of God in Jesus. Yet your need to seek God never ends.
Seeking God means that you are continually aiming and working at knowing him more deeply, depending on him more thoroughly, and experiencing his grace more richly. The psalmist says that his desire is to remain "pure." He wants to live uprightly and to honor God. He knows that this means he must guard his life according to God's Word, but he also recognizes that this is not just an act of willpower. It is the hope of God's sustaining grace that he finds as he seeks God.
It is unfortunate that you forget your need to seek God, for though you are right that God is enough, you forget that he is only found to be enough by those who seek him. Seeking God means that in all you do, you keep his honor in your mind, his Word in your heart, and his glory as your goal--so you are seeking to actually know him and make him known. (58-9)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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